tax and jursidictions
The Bahamas has passed three bills through Parliament which could improve the nation's status as an offshore domicile.
The Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill, the Computer Misuse Bill and the Data Protection (Privacy of Personal Data) Bill will come into law by the end of April after they have been rubber stamped by the Governor General.
The Electronic Communications and Transactions Bill addresses circumstances where the law or statute calls for an agreement to be in writing and signed in original form by allowing the writing, signature, original and copies to be generated electronically.
The Misuse of Computer Bill covers six different offences including all forms of hacking and is based on standards and guidelines that have been established by the OECD. These standards have been adopted by nearly 30 countries.
The Data Protection Bill implements privacy principles established by the OECD to protect the privacy and transfer of personal data.
Rowena Bethel, the Ministry of Finance's legal advisor, said the legislation was designed to create certainty and promote confidence for the online commercial world. 'We sought to recognise the unique qualities of the internet,' she said. 'Consequently, our legislation seeks to support and enforce a predictable, minimalist, consistent and simple legal environment for commerce.'
Wendy Warren, of the Bahamas Financial Services Authority, added that the legislation would strengthen the country's reputation as a financial centre, making cross-border transactions easier and quicker in some cases and providing added comfort to investors and asset management firms.
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